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2010 Toyota Corolla "snow shovel" engine noise


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steve8847
Novice
steve8847 profile image

Apr 17, 2021, 4:02 PM

Post #1 of 15 (697 views)
2010 Toyota Corolla "snow shovel" engine noise Sign In

Hi – Thank you for helping with my car problem.

I’ve got a 2010 Toyota Corolla. 4 cylinder engine. Bought it used around three years ago. About 75k miles. It’s been a creampuff thus far, very happy with it, until this problem.

I’ve mostly driven it around town, perhaps once in a while going ten or twenty miles on a highway. But recently I attended a funeral which round trip was around 300 miles of mostly around 65-75 MPH highway driving.

So I’m coming back home on the highway, and I suddenly hear this sound, which about the best I can describe it, sounds like a snow shovel on asphalt when shoveling snow. I never heard a car noise such as this before.

At first, I thought something was caught on the right front wheel because the sound seemed to emanate from that area. But while driving further home, I realized it was likely coming from the right side of the engine. The right side when sitting in the car.

Fortunately, the car did not break down.

The sound is very intermittent with no pattern to it at all. Nothing steady to it like a valve tap. Even the loudness of the noise can vary. It’s not loud like a bad muffler, but it’s louder than a typical valve tap.

It will make the noise for a second or two, then could go a minute or two before it does it again.

No engine warning lights flash on the dashboard.

When idling, the engine makes no noise like this at all. Idles fine. The noise occurs only when driving the car, and again, always intermittently, no pattern to it.

I have no plans of repairing it myself, unless it’s something very simple like adding fluid or something like that. But I certainly don’t want to get ripped off by any auto repair shop, which unfortunately in my area is like a cottage industry.

So going to the auto repair shop and basically instructing them what to do, seems like the best option to me if possible.

Any further questions about this in order to provide the best answer, would be very much appreciated.

Thanks again for your kind help! Smile

Steve


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Apr 17, 2021, 4:59 PM

Post #2 of 15 (686 views)
Re: 2010 Toyota Corolla "snow shovel" engine noise Sign In


Quote
So going to the auto repair shop and basically instructing them what to do, seems like the best option to me if possible.


No, that would be basically the worst option. You have to be able to trust the shop you are going to so if you don't have a trustworthy shop now, then ask friends for some references. Don't look for the cheapest one as that will usually be the worst one. Use references and when you find a good one, stick with it.

We can't begin to diagnose a noise over the Internet from your description. We can further advise you once you have a professional opinion from an experienced tech that actually heard the sound.

PS, you never posted the mileage on the car



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Apr 17, 2021, 5:00 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Apr 17, 2021, 6:11 PM

Post #3 of 15 (677 views)
Re: 2010 Toyota Corolla "snow shovel" engine noise Sign In

Steve: Noises are a pest to diagnose and explain.
Just some questions that may lead to a fix?
*Does this get better or worse when using brakes?
*Is it better or worse on turns left or right ones?
---------
A key is how much can you do at your location for even removing wheels, checking brakes, perhaps take off belt and spin accessories for anything unusual.


Tires can make noise if you can "cross rotate them" meaning front right to left rear, front left to right rear. See if that changes where the noise comes from.


I'd be checking for plastic shields that may be rubbing a tire or moving parts to front wheels on this. Check under front bumper for an "air dam" they plain can bump those parking, concrete things and be the issue. That stuff is help on with plastic clips, button of assorted types.


Last: A fav for odd noises can be exhaust parts so tap on exhaust parts (don't bust anything) with a rubber hammer include muffler may be full of rust inside (low use but age matters too) can make very strange sounds above idle and look fine on outside?


All guesses YOU may find it?


T



steve8847
Novice
steve8847 profile image

Apr 17, 2021, 6:40 PM

Post #4 of 15 (669 views)
Re: 2010 Toyota Corolla "snow shovel" engine noise Sign In

75,000 miles.

Also, I wasn't using the A/C or the heater.

In fact, I never use A/C. I've always preferred to just roll down the windows on a hot day.

Thanks for the reply.


steve8847
Novice
steve8847 profile image

Apr 17, 2021, 6:59 PM

Post #5 of 15 (665 views)
Re: 2010 Toyota Corolla "snow shovel" engine noise Sign In

I've owned around ten cars in my life, and of course been driven in countless other cars as a passenger over the years. But never heard a noise such as this.

The interesting thing is while it seems to be coming from the right side as mentioned, it seems to sometimes reverberate almost thru the entire front area. I mean i hear it in one area, and the next time it makes the noise, it seems like it could be coming from not exactly the previous area.

It's hard to fully concentrate on it as I'm driving because I'm deathly fearful when the noise starts up, that the car may break down, then i've got the hassles and expense of towing, etc.

Other than this, the car overall is running fine. I mentioned the idle working well, purring like a kitten. No loss of power. When it makes the noise, there is no noticeable difference in the manner it is running such as hesitation or stalling.

That tapping of the exhaust parts is an interesting idea. Low use but old age, as you mentioned, does fit the description of this car.

Thank you - Greatly appreciate the lightening fast replies!

Steve


steve8847
Novice
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Apr 17, 2021, 7:11 PM

Post #6 of 15 (659 views)
Re: 2010 Toyota Corolla "snow shovel" engine noise Sign In

Steve: Noises are a pest to diagnose and explain.
Just some questions that may lead to a fix?
*Does this get better or worse when using brakes?
*Is it better or worse on turns left or right ones?

Doesn't happen at all when using the brakes.

It first happened on the highway which was basically straight driving. I don't recall it happening when making a turn.

Thanks Tom!


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 18, 2021, 2:08 AM

Post #7 of 15 (637 views)
Re: 2010 Toyota Corolla "snow shovel" engine noise Sign In

OK: Just brakes have whole list of noises. I want to zoom in on if, when noise present using brakes makes it go away?
Belt(s) are on passenger's side of these is not doing noise at idle, I hope you are listening with hood open. Noises travel can be the other side from what you think - IDK why, they just do.
Just seems this came to be from a trip this car doesn't do that much of a lot of things work harder at higher speeds, even if just steady it's working hard.
Lights (if on) the alternator is working a bit more and longer. Many eat up a bearing is intermittent at first.
Tools for noise? Being there is the best of course. Silly rubber hammer, see what's loose or as said rust inside, would be mufflers. Hangers for exhaust parts allow more motion over time.


Tires are huge noise makers. When warm, they do get warm from steady speed and do NOT wear evenly is why rotating them will help a lot. Frequently too. You can feel I call "saw-toothing" if you rub hand one way then the other. Those sound like all hell lucky if cross rotating will wear that back or put up with it till time for new ones.


Rotating the tires (any car they are the only thing to touch the road!) worse wear if FWD, AWD and horrible if 4X4 that locks. How often? Low use cars, iffy roads maybe I'd do those @ 3,000 miles, crossed then next front to rear. Mark it down which was last.
Hub caps if applicable also can make noise. Just rubber on usually alloy rims, especially low tire pressure will give a soapy, clean squeak noise - sometimes. Off the rim and seal those they corrode again rubber.


Turn wheels and look at the plastic shields. Tap on them too it's held together with integrity than the top button of blue jeans!


These are very decent cars still need routine care and checks. It's not that old still depends on exposure it's had.
Look up the service items, owner's manual lists it out nicely. If you say it's low mile use might be harmful double suggestions for services and checks,


Tom



steve8847
Novice
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Apr 18, 2021, 8:01 AM

Post #8 of 15 (632 views)
Re: 2010 Toyota Corolla "snow shovel" engine noise Sign In


In Reply To
OK: Just brakes have whole list of noises. I want to zoom in on if, when noise present using brakes makes it go away?
Belt(s) are on passenger's side of these is not doing noise at idle, I hope you are listening with hood open. Noises travel can be the other side from what you think - IDK why, they just do.
Just seems this came to be from a trip this car doesn't do that much of a lot of things work harder at higher speeds, even if just steady it's working hard.
Lights (if on) the alternator is working a bit more and longer. Many eat up a bearing is intermittent at first.
Tools for noise? Being there is the best of course. Silly rubber hammer, see what's loose or as said rust inside, would be mufflers. Hangers for exhaust parts allow more motion over time.


Tires are huge noise makers. When warm, they do get warm from steady speed and do NOT wear evenly is why rotating them will help a lot. Frequently too. You can feel I call "saw-toothing" if you rub hand one way then the other. Those sound like all hell lucky if cross rotating will wear that back or put up with it till time for new ones.


Rotating the tires (any car they are the only thing to touch the road!) worse wear if FWD, AWD and horrible if 4X4 that locks. How often? Low use cars, iffy roads maybe I'd do those @ 3,000 miles, crossed then next front to rear. Mark it down which was last.
Hub caps if applicable also can make noise. Just rubber on usually alloy rims, especially low tire pressure will give a soapy, clean squeak noise - sometimes. Off the rim and seal those they corrode again rubber.


Turn wheels and look at the plastic shields. Tap on them too it's held together with integrity than the top button of blue jeans!


These are very decent cars still need routine care and checks. It's not that old still depends on exposure it's had.
Look up the service items, owner's manual lists it out nicely. If you say it's low mile use might be harmful double suggestions for services and checks,


Tom


The noise first began on the trip home while traveling on the highway. I got home and the car sat for a few days. Then I started up the car, drove out of the driveway for about 100 yards on the road, and the noise reoccurred, actually seemed louder than it had been before.

It sounded like the car was possibly going to break down. So i turned around and drove it back into my driveway. Shut off the engine, and opened the hood. Checked the belts mainly because with these newer cars, other than that, I hardly even know what i'm looking at any more.

Then started up the engine with the hood still up, let it idol for around five minutes, and no noise at all, and no "obvious" problems such as a loose belt, overheating, etc. Purred like a kitten as before i left on the 300 mile trip, i had checked the car in idol and also water, oil, belts, etc.

I have not checked the brake fluid, but i will do that today.

A few days ago, I really needed to go to the store around five miles away. So i gambled and drove the car to the store after re-checking it as previously mentioned. It intermittently again made the noise, but made it back home okay. I shut off the engine, and it's been sitting now for a few days. Thought i'd check out an auto repair forum on the internet. Glad i found this one.

I'm not sure if using the brakes makes the noise go away. When the noise starts i don't recall hitting or tapping the brakes, but i will try that, because i really need to go to the store again today on Sunday. I'll also check the brake fluid level before leaving.

The noise definitely has never happened when using the brakes, because i would have immediately noted and remembered that connection.

I think you may be on to this problem with the brakes, considering it just doesn't sound like an engine problem sort of sound...whatever that means - LOL.

In the 70's and 80's i used to work on my cars all the time, IE routine stuff, spark plug changes, etc. But I've never worked on or changed brakes. Now that you keyed my attention to it, I can envision that "snow shovel" noise could be coming from the brakes with the way brakes operate. The sound threw me off because i've had cars with worn brakes before, making noise, and it never sounded like this. But as you noted, "brakes have a whole list of noises" and possibly this is just one noise i haven't experienced before.

Sure would be a relief knowing it's just a brake job needed, versus a major engine repair.

Thank again Tom - VERY MUCH!

Steve


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 18, 2021, 9:21 AM

Post #9 of 15 (626 views)
Re: 2010 Toyota Corolla "snow shovel" engine noise Sign In

OK: You can just hit the plain reply not include all my dribbles :-)
Why brakes? It's because they are made to rub (friction) same as ever they wear out. Noise is the "TOO LATE" time to know that's why.
They should all four wheels be known where you are in visual wear of them so no surprises yet can for a failure of assorted kinds. They would shut up or make more noise when dragging them (left foot it a little on purpose) if a change that's now top of the list.
Steering left while moving along then right. That shows more or less noise for some problems. Bearings in particular or odd wear of tires already mentioned. Turning while moving along shifts weight of the vehicle opposite which way is heavier can bring out what I listed just this post in funky noises.
It's hard to do for many but can you hoist all four wheels and safely get under it? Level concrete best with jack stands placed properly or no - don't allow disasters of it falling. Absolutely NOT on asphalt without plywood (I'll use that) if something is going to take time and shop space do it outside.


I feel your fear of breaking down. It's a machine could do that new or anytime it wants "render you a pedestrian" without regard to your feelings or WHERE it might do that.
Noises are warnings so if you can't find it then send it out explain WHEN it will do it not what you think is wrong leave that to the paid tech. You can ask just find out what and not do the work there - you decide.
Why after this trip? That would bring out some things that haven't been working hard despite maybe a nice highway run. It's faster and shocking how hard an engine works and brakes when used at speeds for hours no less.


So if you don't find it, it's got to go out. If it's something you'd take on then we can help more.


A difference from older 70s + some 80s and this car is will probably come down to cost of tools if something easy if you have them and impossible if you don't now. Some are rentable but we aren't there yet so look at what you can find and if nothing seems obvious it's got to go out vehicles don't just make these noises for no reason,


Tom



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Apr 18, 2021, 9:58 AM

Post #10 of 15 (622 views)
Re: 2010 Toyota Corolla "snow shovel" engine noise Sign In

OK, I can see we're turning this into another mile long thread and be no closer to an answer than we were with the first response.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



steve8847
Novice
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Apr 18, 2021, 10:45 AM

Post #11 of 15 (614 views)
Re: 2010 Toyota Corolla "snow shovel" engine noise Sign In

Thank you Tom - I greatly appreciate the additional suggestions!

Steve


steve8847
Novice
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Apr 18, 2021, 11:23 AM

Post #12 of 15 (606 views)
Re: 2010 Toyota Corolla "snow shovel" engine noise Sign In

Link deleted ........ not allowed

Scraping Noise From Wheel While Driving

Hi Tom - I "think" this may be it. You led me in the right direction to find this. Otherwise i would have focused on the engine, not at all on the brakes.

I'll post the results when mission accomplished.

THANK YOU!

Steve


(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Apr 18, 2021, 12:02 PM)


steve8847
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Apr 27, 2021, 6:51 AM

Post #13 of 15 (524 views)
Re: 2010 Toyota Corolla "snow shovel" engine noise Sign In

Turns out it was, according to the repair shop, a bent fender rubbing against the brake. The brakes were fine and no repair needed. It passed inspection.

Leads me to another question:

Earlier I had tried to take off the lug nuts, but was unable to do so. I have one of those "plus shaped" lug wrench, but the lug nuts wouldn't budge. So i couldn't really get in there to see if a stone was lodged in there, or a bent fender, etc.

Could be a blessing in disguise as if i would have ever had a flat tire, i would have been unable to change it.

What would be a good solution to keep in my trunk in the event of a flat tire in order to remove the lug nuts and change the tire? With no knowledge on the subject, is there something such as a portable power lug nut remover, and does it hold its charge sitting in the trunk for an extended period? Would putting oil on the lug nuts or some other type of lubricant help to remove them when needed?

If you have a solution, i'll order it off your website link if you could guide me to the right link.

Thank you!

Steve


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Apr 27, 2021, 8:01 AM

Post #14 of 15 (520 views)
Re: 2010 Toyota Corolla "snow shovel" engine noise Sign In

Just carry a long breaker bar. The bigger the bar, the easier to loosen lug nuts. Always use a good quality, 6pt 1/2" drive socket.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



steve8847
Novice
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Apr 28, 2021, 10:33 PM

Post #15 of 15 (418 views)
Re: 2010 Toyota Corolla "snow shovel" engine noise Sign In

Thank you Hammer!

Smile






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